At Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen asks a question that has long perplexed AsiaPundit: "Why don’t Asian restaurants have good desserts?":
I’ll let you all bicker as to whether the stylized fact is true only in the USA, or across the world. I don’t know if the following explanation is true, but finally I have heard an explanation which might plausibly be true:
…many traditional desserts require a great deal of work to make, at least when compared to stir-frying some shreds of this and that together. Most restaurateurs are simply unwilling to go to the trouble, particularly since the profit margin on desserts is generally smaller than that on the main dishes. The same phenomenon occurs in other ethnic restaurants. In the old country, desserts and snack foods are made in specialized shops where the volume keeps labor costs down [TC: and freshness up…btw, the emphasis is added].
That is from A. Zee’s Swallowing Clouds: A Playful Journey Through Chinese Culture, Language, and Culture. The author also suggests that the Chinese prefer to eat desserts apart from regular mealtimes; for some reason this is supposed to lower the quality of restaurant-based desserts. I prefer the first explanation. Indian sweet shops are fantastic, but U.S.-based Indian restaurants have only so-so desserts. Comments are open, I am eager to hear your opinions…
(Image via here)
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Mao: The Unknown Story - by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday:
A controversial and damning biography of the Helmsman.
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January 31st, 2006 at 9:41 pm
Might it be somewhat incongruous for a simple restaurant to serve decadent desserts? I’ve found even a bowl of fruit, or fruity beverage, the perfect response to a spicy or oily main course. I used to pine for chocolate, but rice cakes have a sneaking appeal,
Leave this development to fusion chefs!